Veterans for Peace Armistice
Help Us Celebrate Armistice Day 2019!
Veterans For Peace has been celebrating Armistice Day almost since the organization’s inception, with a few chapters doing yearly events. However, in 2008 the effort became a national effort with the passage of an official Veterans For Peace resolution (see below). Since then, chapters across the country have been “Reclaiming Armistice Day” pushing the celebration of peace into the national conversation on Veterans Day.
Over one hundred years ago the world celebrated peace as a universal principle. The first World War had just ended and nations mourning their dead collectively called for an end to all wars. Armistice Day was born and was designated as “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated.”
After World War II, the U.S. Congress decided to rebrand November 11 as Veterans Day. Honoring the warrior quickly morphed into honoring the military and glorifying war. Armistice Day was flipped from a day for peace into a day for displays of militarism.
Veterans For Peace has taken the lead in lifting up the original intention of November 11th – as a day for peace. As veterans we know that a day that celebrates peace, not war, is the best way to honor the sacrifices of veterans. We want generations after us to never know the destruction war has wrought on people and the earth.
Veterans For Peace is calling on everyone to stand up for peace this Armistice Day. More than ever, the world faces a critical moment. Tensions are heightened around the world and the U.S. is engaged militarily in multiple countries, without an end in sight. Here at home we have seen the increasing militarization of our police forces and brutal crackdowns on dissent and people’s uprisings against state power. We must press our government to end reckless military interventions that endanger the entire world. We must build a culture of peace.
This Armistice Day, Veterans For Peace calls on the U.S. public to say no to more war and to demand justice and peace, at home and abroad. We know Peace is Possible and call for an end to all oppressive and violent policies, and for equality for all people.
Veterans For Peace resolution
(Submitted by Bob Heberle, VFP Chapter 27, Endorsed by VFP Chapter 27)
Whereas bells worldwide were rung on November 11, 1918 to celebrate and recognize the ending of WWI, “The war to end all wars” and
Whereas to commemorate that peaceful pledge, bells were rung November 11 for over 35 years, and
Whereas, legislation making November 11 a holiday passed in 1938, “Shall be a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” and
Whereas the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars, and
Whereas the substitution of the word “Armistice” to “Veterans” changes the focus from peace to war by celebrating and honoring warriors and war, and
Whereas that November date symbolized the nation’s desire to hold to a peaceful future and away from war, and
Whereas, too often rhetoric and patriotic symbols are used instead of genuine compensation for the extraordinary sacrifices and services of military personnel, and
Whereas 90% of victims of wars are now civilians and by honoring only veterans, the public is distracted from the awful price paid by those other than military members, and
Whereas Chapter #27 has for over 17 years promoted the ringing of a bell eleven times at its ceremonies on November 11 and at other solemn occasions such as funerals to remind the public of that Armistice Day peace pledge, and
Whereas the ringing of bells is so much more fitting and peaceful than the often practiced gun salutes and fighter plane flyovers.
Therefore Be It Resolved that Veterans For Peace, Inc. urges its memberships to adopt the procedure of honoring peace by focusing on bell ringing on Armistice Day, November 11 and other solemn occasions.
Approved at the 2008 VFP national convention